Well I Won’t Be Sleeping Tonight

Bedbugs taking over New York City? WHAT?!

Bedbugs are back and spreading through New York City like a swarm of locusts on a lush field of wheat.

Infestations have been reported sporadically across the United States over the past few years. But in New York, bedbugs have gained a foothold all across the city.

“It’s becoming an epidemic,” said Jeffrey Eisenberg, the owner of Pest Away Exterminating, an Upper West Side business that receives about 125 bedbug calls a week, compared with just a handful five years ago. “People are being tortured, and so am I. I spend half my day talking to hysterical people about bedbugs.”

Last year the city logged 377 bedbug violations, up from just 2 in 2002 and 16 in 2003. Since July, there have been 449. “Its definitely a fast-emerging problem,” said Carol Abrams, spokeswoman for the city housing agency.


“People come in here and cry on my shoulder,” said Andy Linares, the owner of Bug Off Pest Control, in a Washington Heights storefront. “They feel ashamed, even traumatized, to have these invisible vampires living in their home. Rats, even V.D., is more socially acceptable than bedbugs.”

Ok. That’s funny.

In interviews with more than a dozen bedbug sufferers, only a handful would speak on the record, saying they feared the condemning glares of neighbors or the shunning of co-workers. A bedbug infestation, many say, puts an added strain on relationships, all but ruling out staying the night.

Like many “bedbug victims,” as some call themselves, Josie Torielli has become consumed with the biology of bedbugs since she discovered them in her home last year. She blamed mosquitoes for the ruddy blotches on her body until she turned on the lights one night and found a few of the fiends crawling across her sheets.

She thought she had them conquered, but last week, after nine months of peace, Ms. Torielli discovered the telltale red spots on her sheets, the result of blood-engorged bugs crushed during the night.

“I’ve become obsessed,” said Ms. Torielli, 33, a social work student who lives in Hell’s Kitchen, in Manhattan. “I switched to white sheets so I can see them better, and I’ve set up a bedbug jail in a Tupperware container that I put on the windowsill to torture them with daylight. It’s all-out war.”

Say a little prayer for me, folks.

Posted in Domesticity, Vanity | 16 Comments


I’m feeling better. Sort of. If I’m active enough to require walking and/or standing for a length of time, I get tired and have to lay down, but the fever is gone and the pain is gone. Mostly. When I went out looking for a winter coat for Ethan this Wednesday, merely walking through the mall put me down for the night. I suppose my body is telling me to slow down and take it easy, but I want to move! This is my vacation!

A friend is coming into town tonight and is forcing me to endure the most physical activity that I’ve had since Wednesday, so we’ll see how I do. She is rather high energy, so I might have to sit back and observe.

Thank you to everyone who sent advice and well wishes. Today’s Feel Better Regimen includes decaf green tea, Japanese food, and the company of friends.

Posted in Health, Vanity | 5 Comments

Porn Hound, Meet Feminist Website

Robin Herman of Girl in the Locker Room was presented with this hilarious tanka by her 16-year-old son on her birthday:

Looking for porno
He types, “girl in locker room”
And finds my mom’s blog.
Nope, no naked pictures here…
Au contraire: feminism.

Feminist bloggers are evil like you wouldn’t believe, thwarting masturbatory fantasies all over the world. All hail Dworkin!

Posted in Entertainment, Feminism | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

Tor-Knit-O plus Politicians

If you haven’t caught it in the news lately, Indiana has been having some severe, unseasonal tornadoes. When one tore through Southern Indiana earlier this month, razing several tiny towns in the south, tons of small businesses pulled together charity functions to help rebuild their downtown areas and raise money for local residents.

One example that I love is the Tor-Knit-O charity put together by The Village Knitter, located in the historic town of Newburgh, Indiana on the banks of the Ohio River, a few miles east of Evansville, Indiana. The coolest part is that two Indiana politicians, Senator Vaneta Becker and Representive Suzanne Crouch, showed up to try their hand at knitting.

Keeping this short, this is part of what I love about living in “fly-over country” — our state and local representatives often show up to support the community without public shilldom.*

In other news, I have gotten plenty of knitting done while laid up on the couch during my Thanksgiving vacation. For one, I knit up this lovely handspun sock yarn from Mac at Pesky Apostrophe for my own fingerless gloves.

Fingerless Gloves

I tried them out yesterday and they are amazingly warm despite the openwork. In addition, I finished up the boyfriend’s fingerless gloves. Yes, the left one is shorter than the right one, but hey, I tried.

Fingerless Gloves

Next up: A hat and scarf from ye olde yarn stash to match Ethan’s new winter coat (paid for with your donations — thank you!), and finishing the stupid Noro sweater I’ve been trying to knit for the last year and a half.
*Yes, I just made up that word.

Posted in Domesticity, Politics | 3 Comments

Saturday Stupid Shit

Did partisan politics deny The Boss rightful recognition? Sure sounds like it when American Idol Carrie Underwood gets a Congressional resolution in her honor, and Bruce’s proposed resolution gets voted down.

Using your celebrity status to promote condom use to prevent the spread of HIV in Africa is a good thing, right? The Catholic Church doesn’t think so.

A schoolteacher is fired for being pregnant and unwed. Big surprise here: she worked at a Catholic school. And this is what I love about the “pro-life” view embodied by this school and the Catholic church: They’ll talk about how women who face unintended or unwanted pregnancies should be brave, good religious followers and carry the pregnancy to term, and then they punish them for choosing to do so.

“I don’t understand how a religion that prides itself on being forgiving and on valuing life could terminate me because I’m pregnant and am choosing to have this baby,” said McCusker, who was fired last month. “I held the Catholic religion to a higher standard.”

But it’s all about morals:

The key issue in McCusker’s case, McCaffrey said, is that Catholic-school teachers don’t simply teach subjects like math and history. They are also expected to teach morals and must lead by example.

“It’s not like we’re saying that she is a sinner and can’t be a role model,” McCaffrey said. “But there’s a visible sign. She’s pregnant. To have children looking at that, and say it’s OK, is not the example the church wants to set.”

McCusker’s supporters, however, assert that the church is being hypocritical.

“Had she been a student in a Catholic institution, and a pregnant single woman, church authorities would have counseled her — indeed, may have even pressured her — to continue her pregnancy,” Eileen Moran, a member of Catholics for a Free Choice, said at the news conference. “Yet, as her employer, in spite of all the official pronouncements of being pro-child, pro-parent and pro-family, St. Rose fired her.”

Posted in Music, Reproductive Rights | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Friday Random Ten, Late-Nite Edition

Spending the day with sis and moms and then going to dinner at a friend’s upstate distracted me from the FRT.

(sister and me).

So here it is, folks, just after midnight…

1. Portishead – Glory Box
2. Bob Dylan – Everything is Broken
3. Bill Evans Trio featuring Stan Getz – The Two Lonely People
4. Belle & Sebastian – I Could Be Dreaming
5. Dar Williams – The Christians and the Pagans
6. Van Morrison – Tupelo Honey
7. Dave Matthews and Santana – Love of My Life
8. Jay Z – Change Clothes
9. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Universally Speaking
10. Sigur Ros – The Nothing Song

Tagged | 6 Comments

Suitable for Patrick Bateman

Looks like turkey, probably tastes like chicken:

Learned from the Best

In the meantime, Pablo guards his sick master:

Guarding the Sick One

This is a bit disingenuous, to be honest. Pablo is actually quite upset with me because I, with the help of a gift from the awesome Norbizness, have taken away his favorite pasttime. He was actually waiting for me to wake up so that he wouldn’t be forced to drink from this new pet accessory that is fit for the yuppiest of yuppies:

The Yuppiest of Cat Accessories

This, folks, is the Drinkwell Pet Fountain. Yes, it does look like a little bidet. Here you see Pablo reluctantly drinking from the DPF after being placed there for the umpteenth time in the last week because he refuses to break the faucet habit. That Ryan sits around lauding the high quality of his cool, tasty glass of faucet water in front of poor Pablo probably doesn’t help things. Doug doesn’t give a shit — it’s his new favorite toy.

Bonus: it sounds like I have a fancy fountain in my living room, though every time I walk through the kitchen I suddenly have to pee.

Thank you, Norbizness, for the lovely thought.

Posted in Vanity | 10 Comments

The Daughter Track

I’m not a fan of trend stories, but this one is interesting, even if it doesn’t actually reflect any major change: Women are leaving their careers to care for their elderly parents.

In another era, the task of caring for elderly parents often fell to the unmarried daughter who never left home and never worked for a living. But now, in a 21st-century twist on the 19th-century spinster, career women like Ms. Geist who have made their mark in the world are returning home to care for parents in old age.

They are embracing a filial role that few could have imagined in their futures and are doing so by choice. In fact, sociologists are beginning to give the phenomenon a name: the Daughter Track, a late-in-life version of the Mommy Track, a career downsizing popular with younger women.

Women, now as always, bear a disproportionate burden for elder care and often leave jobs, either temporarily or permanently, when the double duty becomes overwhelming , according to recent studies of family care-giving, women in the workplace and retirement patterns. Although there is no precise count of how many women have walked away from careers to care for their parents, more of them than ever are financially independent, unmarried or childless, which makes it more feasible than it might be for women with families at home. And never have more parents needed adult children to care for them, what with long life expectancy and disabling conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.

Continue reading

Posted in Domesticity, Gender | 77 Comments

Thanksgiving Random Ten with Special Guest Snob, The Boyfriend

TURDUCKEN!Turducken? That’s foul!

If someone is stuffing a turkey with a duck and a chicken somewhere, it’s time for the Thanksgiving Random Ten. Fire up your mp3s, drink off the motherly guilt, and list the first ten your favorite mp3 player vurps out.

1) Belle and Sebastian – You Made Me Forget My Dreams
3/10, because the boyfriend forgot about BS years ago. Except for all the BS he slings me.

2) The Cramps – New Kind of Kick
8/10 “Life is short / Filled with stuff” is, perhaps, the meaning of life. Especially for a turkey.

3) The Pixies – The Sad Punk
5/10 Punks don’t get sad. That’s for the screamo kids.

4) Curtis Gordon – Draggin’
10/10, because it takes cojones to put every single instrument on reverb.

5) Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen in Love
7/10 This is a compromise score. Ah, partnership.

6) Link Wray – New Studio Blues
8/10, even though he falls out of beat, or off the stage. Whatever.

7) Michael Mayer – Love is Stronger Than Pride
4/10 Okay, this electroclash thing has gone totally overboard. When the boyfriend is tempted to grab a glowstick and do a hand jive, I’m over it.

8) Tangela Tricola – Jet Lady
4/10 for making us laugh out loud for the duration of the song. Can we not-so-randomly put some Shooby Taylor on up in here?

9) Tom Waits – Down, Down, Down
10/10 Thankgiving bonus for Mr. Waits. He has a gravel sack like a turkey.

10) Devo – Mongoloid
9/10 This one caused us to tiff about using our indoor voices, so it has to be good.

Alas, this list is only 68% cool. Please do not let that reflect on our records.

BONUS TRACK: David Cross’ “Diarrhea Moustache,” in which he riffs about people who refer to themselves in the third person.

Ryan and Lauren bid you a happy holiday.

Posted in Holidays & Celebrations | Tagged | 22 Comments

Thanksgiving Haiku

Courtesy of The Other Dark Meat:

White man invades us,
Steals our land and livelihood!
Enjoy pie, asswipes.

Oh, lovely day.

Posted in Holidays & Celebrations | Tagged , | 24 Comments

Unfortunate Presidential Placement

via A Socialite’s Life

Tagged , | 11 Comments

The Bitching

Taking a cue from Amanda, tell us all about what you are just not grateful for this weekend.

The Bitching, Movies:

I Am Sam – Could have lasted 30 minutes, and instead it dragged on for almost two hours. Painful.

John Q – Terrible and contrived. Yes, the healthcare system is fucked up. This movie felt like a lecture about it.

The Village – Just… bad. Although the image of the monsters still freaks me out.

Grease 2 – I think we can all agree on this one.

Battlefield Earth – Yes, I actually watched this movie. The whole thing. Never again.

Braveheart – Never got through the first 20 minutes. Hated, hated, hated it.

Lord of the Rings – All of ’em. And you know what? I didn’t even watch them. I just know they’re that bad.

The Bitching, Personal Stuff:

School – I should just drop out. Finals are in three weeks, and I need to get my ass in gear. Fuck.

My Bathroom – I generally like my apartment — until today, when my mom (who has not been here more than 24 hours) managed to clog our toilet, something that hasn’t happened at all in my three months of living here. Awesome.

The weather – It’s fucking freezing here. Apparently New York decided to skip all of autumn, and go straight from sunny and 70 to freezing-ass cold, windy and rainy. Plus, my room mate’s window won’t shut all the way and our kitchen window has the AC unit in it, so cold air comes in like crazy.

Boys, boys, boys – They’re always a problem, aren’t they? Is it really that hard to just be nice to me?

The Bitching, Politics:

Exhaustion – I’m tired of politics. There’s too much wrong. There’s nothing I can do about it. The Democrats suck, and the Republicans suck a lot harder. It’s just the same old thing, and I can’t even get angry about it anymore. Moving on.

The Bitching, Fashion (I’m adding my own category):

Uggs: People, please. They’ve been out of style for three years now, and they were ugly then, too. The worst is when I see girls walking around in November in denim mini-skirts and Uggs. It’s cold, and even huge hideous boots won’t keep you warm. STOP WEARING THEM, for the love of God.

Furry Boots: Again, completely and totally out. And ugly.

Cowboy Boots: Yes, we all wore them this summer with our peasant skirts and demin, inspired by Jessica Simpson and Dukes of Hazard (and when I say “we,” I do not include myself). They’re played out. Stop, now.

Greek Clothing: So you were in a frat, and you want to wear your TKE sweatshirt every day. Or, it’s really important that when you go to the gym, your sorority letters are emblazoned across your ass on brightly-colored short-shorts. I have nothing against the Greek system (here, I’m lying), but when you wear the clothing, it makes the rest of us think you’re probably stupid. Mean and judgmental? Certainly. But that’s my thing.

Abercrombie & Fitch: If you’re over the age of 20, you have absolutely no reason to be wearing this clothing. Particularly if you’re in graduate school. Ditto with cargo shorts. Grow up, kids.

Insipid T-Shirts: No one cares if you think you’re Mrs. Timberlake, or if you did Ashton. Double hatred for t-shirts that say things like “Princess,” “Spoiled” or “Pimp Daddy.”

Small Backpacks: Even if it is made by Prada, it’s still ugly.

Signature Purses:
At this point, the LV bags are just old, old, old. Ditto for the various knock-offs by Dooney & Burke, xoxo, Guess, and just about every other mall retailer.

The Polo shirs with the giant horse
: We get it, you’re wearing Polo. We saw the horse when it was small. Why does it have to take up a quarter of the shirt now?

The Bitching, Culture:

Tourists Who Go Gape at the WTC Site: I hate you, I really do. You’re assholes, with your fanny packs and “I Heart NY” t-shirts and “9-11: Never Forget” hats and your huge cameras, stopping by what’s basically a mass gravesite to take smiling pictures in between your visit to the Empire State Building and standing in line for Rent tickets. It’s not a tourist attraction, and walking around grinning and laughing and going, “oh, wow” really isn’t the way to show respect.

Times Square: Perhaps the worst place on earth. Neon signs, a giant Cup o’ Noodles, MTV… and again with the tourists. Could there possibly be more American Eagle in one place?

TomKat: I stole this one from Amanda, but damn if it isn’t true. Katie, we know the Church of Scientology is paying you millions of dollars, but it’s just not worth it!

Nicole Richie, Author
: And this.

The DaVinci Code: It’s still on the NYT Bestseller List. And that’s fine. I’m glad people are reading, and it’s not the worst book in the world. But it’s not exactly high literature, folks. If I have to hear one more crappy art history lecture from some idiot who has read one book in the past four years, I might shoot myself.

Ruining Perfectly Good Books with Movies: Last I heard, they’re making a movie out of A Confederacy of Dunces, a book that I particularly like. Except who’s playing Ignatius? Will fucking Ferrell. Idiots. They’re also movie-izing The Namesake, and casting Kumar (from Harold and Kumar) as Gogol. I guess we’ll see how that turns out.

As the day wears on and I get increasingly pissed off (holidays have a way of doing that to me), I’m sure we’ll be adding more. Share your own.

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